Everything humans do leave a trace. Each action leaves a mark on the person. Each mark is invisible to those who collect them unknowingly. Different shapes and colors for different decisions and actions.
Violent people are usually colored crimson and rusty brown. The color of the blood that often stained their hands.
People who inflicted harm upon them selves were various shades of icy blue and white. The colors collecting around those wounds like swarms of flies.
Uncertain beings were a swarm of several colors. Each color melting together, then drawing away only to melt back again.
You could see these colors. Not because you had a special ability, but because you also couldn't be seen. You weren't dead, mainly because you had never been living in the first place. You just were. A drifting soul who had never been given the chance to know what it was like to have a living body.
There was only one type of color you truly liked. The color of kindness. Kindness was shades of buttery yellow and sun shine orange. It was your favorite leftover, because it radiated heat, something you could never feel, would never feel unless you were beside a kind person.
So that's what you did, drifted around those who radiated kindness like miniture suns. But recently you had found yourself drifting around one person. Berwald Oxenstierna. A carpenter.
During the day, he put all of his energy into making different pieces of furniture and the little baubles his friend, Tino drew.
Tino was a followed by bubbles of aquamarine and warm brown. The colors of happiness and unconditional love. That's what you liked about Tino, he gave everything and everyone a chance to show their good side. Even those who didn't deserve it.
"Berwald!!" Tino rushed into the workshop, waving a rolled up sheet of paper. you drifted closer to him, enjoying the bubbly feeling his colors gave off. Berwald looked up from the chair he was sanding, his glasses sliding down his nose.
"I need help making this Ber!! It came to me in a dream!" If you had lips, you would have smiled at this. But you couldn't, so you resorted to trying to glimpse the said dream item.
It was a person, or more accurately, a doll. Tino had drawn it with ball joints, scribbling little stars were wire would be needed.
Berwald shuffled over, rubbing the bridge of his nose. Glancing at the sketch, he nodded.
"I c'n do th't."
Tino pointed to the the corner of the paper. There a rough heart was sketched.
"Can you make that to put in the doll? But out of stone?"
Berwald pursed his lips, staring at the paper silently. Tino bit his lower lip, looking nervously between the paper and his friend. You also watched, waiting, knowing that his kindness and love of woodwork would eventually win.
Tino hugged his friend and skipped towards the door. "I'll go buy some wire and doll hair." Pausing he turned back, "What color hair Ber?"
The tall Swedish man thought a moment, rubbing his chin. " (H/C)" He muttered, turning to the piles of wood in the workshop.
By the time Tino had returned, Berwald had finished two of the arm pieces. Tino gaped, the bag going limp in his hand.
"I-I was only gone for thirty minutes!"
"Th're just the pr't'types."
"But..But they're so good!" Tino picked up one of the pieces, still astounded. Berwald shrugged and nodded. The man was not boasting, simply stating the truth. He probably couldn't lie if his life depended on it.
It took three weeks until Berwald was happy with the results. The doll was a tiny, a bit smaller than the size of an average human female. You wondered if Berwald did that on purpose. He had painted her wooden eyes (E/C).
"Oh man, this is amazing Ber!!" Tino leaned forward, tapping a fingernail against one of the eyelids. Berwald had made them so they could close. Smiling Berwald pointed to a small panel on the chest. Tino gave him a quizzical look, then reached out and gently slid it open. A small stone heart. Although it had been cut to shine beautifully, there was something dull about it, something missing.
You knew what it was, a soul. All inanimate objects lacked a soul, sitting empty as they are used for different things.
You waited until they had turned away, looking at Tino's sketches of clothing. Floating close to the stone, you concentrated all of your energy and gently directed it towards the little red rock. It began glowing faintly and you felt your energy being pulled towards it.
You yanked away and swirled as far back as possible, right next to Berwald. The warmth of his kindness calmed you, allowing you to recollect all of your partials. And your thoughts.
Something was unnatural about the stone. Unnatural by human terms. You stayed close to Berwald and Tino, watching silently as they made the clothing. A simple white dress, with turquoise ribbons woven into the bodice.
It looked nice on the doll, making her look just a little more human. Even though her joints were visible.
Tino smiled and hugged the larger man. "This is Amazing Berwald!!!" Berwald flashed one of his rare smiles, eyes hidden behind his glasses. They left the room, heading for the kitchen.
You watched them leave, then turned your attention to the doll, to the stone inside.
Drifting over, you gathered some energy and poked the stone again. Once again, it began sucking you in. This time you let it.
Everything was suddenly black and very tight. To tight, you needed to breath, but you didn't have lungs. Besides, you had never breathed, you didn't even know how. So why the sudden urge to breath?
One of your fingers twitched. Fingers? You didn't have fingers. You were just energy, a being of energy, you had no physical body. But you did, and a heart. A small, pulsing, stone heart.
You concentrated and yes. YES!! You could see. Not your normal 360 degrees, but a normal view, the kind humans had.
Your eyelids clicked when you blinked, startling you. That was right, you were made of wood and wire. And stone. The little, dull, stone. Jerkily, you reached up and pulled the panel open. Now instead of a dull lump, the stone shone like a tiny star.
Sliding off the table, you stood shakily. Your wooden joints creaked and the wired holding them together rattled slightly. Lifting your foot, you took a slow step forward. Then another and another. If your lips and cheeks hadn't been wooden, you might have smiled.
A crash made that feeling disappear. You turned your head stiffly and blinked your wooden eyelids. Tino and Berwald stood in the doorway, mouths a gape and eyes wide. You stiffened and tried to collect your energy, pull out of the stone, leave the body.
It didn't work. Your essence had settled in the stone. The heart of this small, wooden body. You blinked again, your version of worry.
"D-did you put clock works in it?" Tino stuttered, his hands shaking. He didn't notice the broken coffee mug at his feet, nor the dark liquid soaking into his socks. Berwald shook his head slowly, his mouth moving as if trying to form words, but not finding the correct ones.
You stood still, blinking every now and then. Berwald took a step forward, you remained still. Another step and you found yourself suppressing a new emotion. It was tangy, like fear, but not quite that emotion.
Apprehension? Were you nervous to see what he would do next?
He stopped three paces away from you. You hadn't moved, as much as you felt the need to bolt, run like a frightened rabbit.
As he stared and you stared back. He looked different some how. Maybe now, you were seeing the man, instead of his traces. It was both strange and comforting.
"H'w?" A simple question. One you couldn't answer, your lips were carved and painted, not made for opening. You attempted a shrug. It seemed to be a universal human gesture for "I don't know."
Because you really didn't. You didn't understand how this was possible. How a stone had managed to take hold of you. How a stone, not an empty body had managed to grab you and reign your soul particles in.
Berwald was nodding, rubbing his chin. You waited, emotions swirling through you.
"Y'u ne'd a n'me." He grunted, behind him Tino nodded shakily, licking his lips.
"H-How about _______?"
Berwald glanced at his companion and nodded. You felt thrilled. Your first name. The painted smile that decorated your carved wooden face matched your feelings. They weren't afraid, but they weren't certain either. It was a good start.
You watched as a teal bubble of color slowly formed next to your head. Happiness. The first color you had ever collected. A hand wrapped around your small wooden fingers. You looked up at Berwald. He flashed you a rare smile. Tino hesitantly walked over, taking your other hand. His smile was shaky, but true. You blinked, wishing you could truly smile back.
It was alright though, because now you had something you had never gotten the chance to make.